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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Should Team Orders In Formula 1 be Banned ? ? ?

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Following the incident in Hockenheim wherein Massa was told to make way for Alonso, the FIA have floated a committee to probe into this incident further. What exactly occurred is as follows. On Lap 50 Rob Smedly told Massa over the radio "Fernando Alonso is faster than you. Can you confirm" which in an indirect manner implies "Let Alonso go by". Later on , once Alonso overtook Massa, Smedly's apology to Massa just confirms the fact that it was a team order.

Team orders were banned in F1 since 2002 . During that year Jean Todt, the current FIA president who then was the team principal of Ferrari, ordered Rubens Barichello to let Micheal Schumacher go by, on the last lap of the Austrian Grand Prix. That weekend Barichello had been a lot faster than Schumacher, both in practice sessions and during the race itself , and so deserved to win. Micheal Schumacher who had a comfortable lead in the drivers title really should have had no problem finishing second. It was an outrageous thing to do as it was to early to have any significant effect on the championship points. It was due to this , the harsh sides of team orders , that team orders were banned ever since.

But in my view team orders shouldn't be banned. Its true that it may produce bitter and unfair results , but at the end of the day all drivers whether they like it or not, drive for their respective teams . And if their team believes that one of the drivers has a much better chance of scoring something substantial and beneficial , then why not help that driver out ? Look at it this way, say its the last race of the season and Sebastien Vettel is leading the championship with 250 points ahead of Fernando Alonso who is second at 240. And also imagine that Massa is leading that race and Alonso,who will win the Driver's Title if he wins this race , is second, with Vettel in a low scoring position. Then clearly if Alonso wins that race , he will win the Drivers Title . So he has to be let through. It is in such cases that team orders do matter.

Team orders as these shouldn't be given at a very early stage of the season because literally anything can happen in Formula 1 ! And teams should be smarter if they want to carry out anything like that and they should execute in a very inconspicuous manner so as to raise no suspicion .One way to go about this could be like drivers having a mutual understanding between them that if one of them has to win the race then the other will let the former through at some point in the race. Or a pit stop can be delayed just enough for drivers to switch grid places.

Article 39.1 in the Formula 1 Constitution , which bans team orders of any kind, should be tweaked to accommodate such cases and let teams to issue such orders if the have a valid reason for it, because Formula 1 at the end of the day , contradictory to views of most fans , is a team sport .

Well, its in this regard that I end this article , leaving you a thought to ponder on . Please comment on the article and about your views on the banning of team orders.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice article. Yupp I, totally agree that team orders should not be banned. It adds a whole new element of
excitement and challenge to F1 . What the FIA can do is probably restrict the number of team orders to maybe 2 or 3. That should give everyone a fair chance to use team orders.

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